Ottawa Student-Alumni Meet & Greet
If you are a current student on co-op in Ottawa during the Spring 2018 term, consider joining us on June 6th for an informal, fun, and friendly student-alumni mixer. This is a great opportunity for you to tap into the amazing community of Faculty of Environment alumni living and working in the nation's capital. Come out and meet alumni professionals who have built successful careers and are now in a position to offer advice, answer your questions, and help you build your own professional network.
Meet the alumni attending
Matt Arkett (BES 1998, Geography) is an Earth Observation specialist for the Meteorological Service of Canada, at Environment and Climate Change Canada. His career started at the Canadian Ice Service, where he began as a UW co-op student and ended as Manager of Remote Sensing. In that time he had the incredible opportunity to do remote sensing field work in Canada’s high Arctic, and also spend time on the Amundsen research vessel, performing experiments in the Beaufort Sea. His other passions are coaching his children in soccer and every now and then fitting in some games of squash for himself.
Eric Bays (BES 2010, Planning/Excellence in GIS) is an intermediate planner at Stantec with seven years of land use planning, development approvals, and urban design experience. He’s worked on projects across the Ottawa region ranging from complex rural severances to innovative community design plans. When not in the office Eric can be found restoring vintage bicycles, climbing waterfalls (weather permitting), or exploring back alleys and laneways.
Justyna Garbos (BES 2011, Planning) is a Program and Project Management Officer at the City of Ottawa. She’s worked at the City since 2011 in a variety of roles including Development Information Officer, Planner I and Community Consultation Specialist. Outside of work, you can find Justyna with her nose in a book, enjoying a craft beer, learning a new skill like archery or fawning over her pet Polish dwarf rabbit.
Vena Li (MSc 2016, Geography) is a Location Analyst Officer at Canada Post Corporation. She did her undergraduate degree in Geographic Information Systems at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China and served as Academic Editor for the Waterloo Institute for Disaster Management. She likes to travel and she will visit 8 countries this summer.
Christina Paradiso (BES 2004, Geography) is Director, Policy & Negotiations, Climate Change International at Environment & Climate Change Canada. She completed a Masters of Environmental Management at Royal Roads University and has held a succession of increasingly senior roles in policy advising at Environment Canada, the National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy and Natural Resources Canada. Christina is passionate about food (growing it, creating delicious recipes, and enjoying new restaurants) and exploring (other countries, the great outdoors, and new ways of getting stuff done).
Cathy Sandiford (BES 1979, Urban & Regional Planning) Cathy moved to Ottawa upon graduation and was hired by a Waterloo alumnus to Public Works Canada. Later completing an MBA, her federal government career has spanned corporate and strategic planning and policy and program development. She has worked at Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans, with extensive experience in the immigration portfolio and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). As a senior executive, particular areas of interest include marine safety and all facets of immigration including refugee protection and integration and settlement. Cathy currently works on organizational development initiatives at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, including an orientation program for students.
Jennifer Sokol (BES 1996, Geography) is a Senior Policy Advisor at Polar Knowledge Canada and has traveled across the north, with numerous visits to Cambridge Bay, home of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS). She received her Master’s degree in Environmental Studies, Remote Sensing at Carleton University and formerly worked as an Environmental Scientist and Geomatics Policy Advisor at Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada. Jennifer teaching aerobics and kickboxing, and loves to swim (even in the Arctic).
Barb Sweazey (BES 1994, Environment, Resources and Sustainability) is an experienced facilitator, motivational team leader, creative problem-solver and seasoned sustainability consultant. She is Director, Organizational Effectiveness at Stratos Inc. and a Certified Professional Facilitator and Instructional Designer/Developer. When not working, Barb keeps can be found either on her bike or cross-country skis traversing the region’s network of trails …. or you might find her puttering in her garden… or you might find her crafting some new pieces of art!
Trevor Swerdfager (BES 1985, Man-Environment) is Senior Vice President Operations at Parks Canada. He received his Masters degree in Geography/Resource Management at the University of Ottawa and has held a succession of increasingly senior positions in the public sector including Director General at the Canadian Wildlife Service, Director General at Fisheries and Oceans, and most recently, Assistant Deputy Minister at Fisheries and Oceans. Trevor has also come full circle and now teaches a fourth year/graduate level resource conservation course in the Faculty.
Anastasia Veeramani (MES 2015, Sustainability Management) is a Zero Waste consultant and Co-Founder & COO at NU Grocery, Ottawa’s first zero waste grocery store. After completing her undergraduate degree in International Economics, she became passionate about the environment and switched her domains to environmental sciences. Her store was inspired by her research in sustainable food systems and own efforts of zero waste living over the past 6 years.
Brian Wilson (MA 1982, Regional Plan and Resource Dev) has spent his career in the federal government, starting as a corporate planner with the National Capital Commission and then as a program manager and executive in economic development policy and program development and operation in several key departments, including Indigenous Affairs, Global Affairs, Industry Canada, and the Canadian Forest Service. He has hired and mentored Waterloo coop students over many years and has been active in organizing student field trips to Ottawa.